As much a love poem to Naples as a tribute to the popular music that bubbles up in the streets and neighbourhoods of this fascinating and complex city, John Turturro’s effervescent Passione combines archival footage with stunning musical numbers to explore a deep cultural heritage. Naples has seen it all: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, foreign invasions, crime, poverty, corruption and neglect, but it is also a hotbed of music that explores ideas of love, loss, sex, jealousy, emigration, social protest, birth and death. The songs themselves are drenched in contradiction and irony but they carry a robust vitality that reflects the energy of the metropolis.
Beginning by visiting with a trio of grizzled record veterans who muse on the characteristics of Neapolitan music, Turturro proceeds to take us on a musical journey through the back alleys and public squares, beaches and studios of the city to record young and old, amateurs and professionals, performing a divergent and eclectic group of songs. Footage of past masters Sergio Bruni, Massimo Ranieri and Renata Carasonni rub shoulders with contemporary artists like the M’Barka Ben Taleb and James Senese. Turturro’s Italian roots and love of the country give the film added poignancy. The film journeys from nostalgic memories to reconstructions using the bedrooms, parapets and castles of the city, placing musicians in streets and piazzas, whilst exploring the full range of populist folk music from Neapolitan melodramas to contemporary video clips. Each song carries its own narrative associations, and one of the most fascinating aspects of the film is the contemporary American influence on the music. Children fathered during the war by Yankee soldiers have grown up in Naples and are now adding their distinct sound to a city that has seen many cultures come and go, leaving their legacies in this amazing city.
Wybrane nagrody i festiwale /Selected festivals and awards: 2010 – MFF Wenecja/Venice IFF, 2010 – MFF Toronto/ Toronto IFF
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